Enough with the gripesUtah Jazz president Frank Layden is...

Off the beat

October 09, 1991

Enough with the gripes

Utah Jazz president Frank Layden is tired of Isiah Thomas' grumbling over his exclusion from the 1992 U.S. Olympic team.

Layden isn't totally objective. The Jazz's John Stockton was selected to the team and, like Thomas, is a point guard. So, when Thomas whines about not making the team, Layden considers it a dig at Stockton.

"John Stockton will deliver the ball," he said. "That's what John Stockton does better than anyone and that's what the committee was looking for. I'm not sure they knew Isiah would do that.

"Is everybody afraid to say this to Isiah's face? I don't know. But I'd tell him. I'd say: 'Because of your actions, nobody likes you. We see through the smiles. We see through all the baloney. We don't want you on our team.' "

Layden says Thomas' antics at the end of last season's NBA Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls played a part in the decision to keep him off the Olympic team. Thomas and his teammates walked off the court before the end of the final game, refusing to congratulate the winners.

"Would he do something like that if the Russians beat us?" Layden said. "Would he embarrass the whole country? That was a disgrace. . . . "

The quote

Branch Rickey, former president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, on Leo Durocher, who died Monday: "He had the ability of taking a bad situation and making it immediately worse."

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